Thursday, August 6, 2015
Females who do as well as Males in Grade 3 Math also do as well in Grade 8 Science
Research on science achievement disparities by gender and race/ethnicity often neglects the beginning of the pipeline in the early grades. This study addresses this limitation using nationally representative data following students from Grades 3 to 8.
The study finds that the Black–White science test score gap (–1.07 SD in Grade 3) remains stable over these years, the Hispanic–White gap narrows (–.85 to –.65 SD), and the Asian–White Grade 3 gap (–.31 SD) closes by Grade 8.
The female–male Grade 3 gap (–.23 SD) may narrow slightly by eighth grade. Accounting for prior math and reading achievement, socioeconomic status, and classroom fixed effects, Grade 8 racial/ethnic gaps are not statistically significant. The Grade 8 science gender gap disappears after controlling for prior math achievement.